Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014: 'Not a Drop to Drink'

Welcome to Book City
Date: October 29, 2014

Spoilers Ahead

Not a Drop to Drink
Mindy McGinnis

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

City Calendar:
This is what happened during the week.
Lynn lives with her mother on her land where a pond is. They go by their daily lives until coyotes attack one day. A bad shot results in Mother being killed. Stebbs the neighbor comes to help. He advises Lynn to check out a camp by the stream. She does so, finding Eli, a pregnant Neva, and Lucy. Eli forces Lucy on Lynn, and the older girl takes Lucy home. She helps Lucy heal. Lynn goes back to the camp and finds Neva in labor. Stebbs and Lynn help Neva deliver the still born baby. Eli and Lynn bury the baby moments after its birth. Lynn goes back to daily life with Lucy until Stebbs doesn't appear one day. Lynn and Lucy go to find him. They find him in his cellar where he has a steady stream of water. Lynn goes to Eli and Neva's place. She flirts with Eli there. Stebbs helps build a house for the two by the stream. (The two being Neva and Eli.) Lynn learns that her father is part of the militia. Eli goes by Lynn's place. He stays the night after Stebbs takes Lucy to his place. Time passes, and Neva goes to see Lucy. Men come with Vera Neva and Eli's mother. Lucy gains a bacterial infection. They trade Vera for Neva. Neva kills herself to spare herself from being abused by the men. Lynn and Vera go to get medical supplies Vera stashed. Lynn decides to attack the camp where the men came from. She works with Eli and Stebbs. Eli is the distraction, but he catches on fire. Stebbs kills Eli to put him out of his misery. Lynn kills her dad who happens to be the leader of the camp. Lynn helps free the women the camp kept under lock and key. Lynn buries Eli where she buried Eli. The story ends with the epilogue where Lucy and Lynn are living out happily ever after.
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Teenage girl looking for someone to melt her heart. Strong and tough. Determined to survive. A fighter. Surviving after she accidentally caused her mother's death. A loving person once you get to know her. Slowly and steadily meting her frozen heart. Gaining compassion. 

I like the concept of the story. It's interesting. Lynn and Mother live on a pond where people come to try and take their water. Both of them are tough and hardened. It's quite interesting. Water actually is a needed resource in daily life, and the world has some places that are almost void of water. It's something people need to survive. Even if they have water, it isn't always clean water. Which brings up this book's point of cholera. The idea is hard to determine whether or not it will happen. We have global warming...but the ice caps are melting. Wouldn't that be a water surplus? I'm not sure. But this is still an interesting premise.
Though Lynn is a bit too tough, if there is such a thing, I do like her. She's tough in all the right places, and she changes to be more loving and caring. I like characters who change into someone else. Lynn isn't fully her father, a maniac, or her mother, a realist and a bit of a pessimist. She cares for Lucy and Eli. She cares for Stebbs. She grows a heart even though she was raised to have none. 
The plot is a bit dull, though. There isn't enough action. We only get action in the last chapter or so when Lynn attacks her father's camp. I think the plot is also a bit...slow. It doesn't seem to carry much action or drama until we reach the introduction of Lucy. And between Mother's death and Lucy coming in, Lynn is just being 'lazy'. (Of course, surviving isn't lazy. I just don't think her daily routine is a need-to-know part of this story.) 
The romance... It's instant. It seems like everyone except Lucy is pairing off. (And Lucy even gets a hinted special someone in the epilogue.) Where is the spark? I know I always repeat this, but I don't see it. What do they bond over? Where is the care? The lure? I think that Lynn is physically attracted to Eli, and that's what caused almost everything to come together. The other reason is the fact that Eli is the first guy Lynn's ever seen. Other than thieves or wanderers or Stebbs. 
The ending is a problem by itself. It seems rushed. It's jumping from the attack...or happily ever after? I know there's a second book...but why does it say epilogue? Can't it just end with Eli's burial? Or the beginning of a community? The book could even be a series if the author wanted to make a book on how the girls from Lynn's father's camp come together with Lynn and build a community. (Thinking 'Ashfall' here.) It would be interesting if that happened. There might be mutiny and whatnot. I just think the ending could have been better.

Cloudy with a 80% chance of rain

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